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For me, the push to recall Raleigh’s mayor is about integrity, upholding democracy

·4 min read

Raleigh recall

Regarding “Push to recall Raleigh’s mayor is the wrong course for improving city government,” (July 22 Editorial):

Regardless if one is for or against a mayoral recall, a major newspaper justifying bad government with things like “but the economy,” “the pandemic was hard,” and “don’t make changes during a pandemic year” shows a lack of integrity and, worse, a lack of reverence for democracy.

A majority of the Raleigh City Council, led by this mayor, chose, behind closed doors, to push to extend their terms well beyond what is necessary. Two reasons were given: 1. Raleigh couldn’t redraw its districts fast enough. 2. The city has unfinished bond work.

This is not how democracy works, and everyone involved knows it.

Integrity is crucial for democracy and good government. Integrity is about doing what’s right behind closed doors and not justifying something that is clearly wrong based on how you feel about a person or group. The recall is a non-issue for me. The issue is the lack of integrity in my city.

Sam Hershey, Raleigh

Teaching CRT

I find it interesting that House Bill 324 and local school board policies supporting it don’t explicitly say, “you can’t teach Critical Race Theory.” I suspect they don’t say it because the goal was never about CRT to begin with.

No, the goal is to preserve convenient lies about history and to demonize teachers and public schools who dare to tell the whole complex truth of our shared history. The goal is to teach our students half-truths.

Anyone afraid of the truths that an honest look at history might uncover doesn’t have a problem with a particular pedagogy or lesson plan. They have a problem with reality and honest confrontations with the truth.

Lee Quinn, Raleigh

Running scared

Fourteen states, all with Republican governors and with Republican controlled legislatures, have now passed laws making it more difficult for registered voters to cast their ballots in an election.

These restrictive laws disproportionately affect Blacks and ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and even students and those whose work schedules limit participation in an election.

Donald Trump sounded the alarm before the 2020 election, when he said, “If more people vote, I will lose.” Taking their cue from the former president, many Republican candidates for public office are now running scared. They’re afraid of losing unless they discourage people from exercising their right to vote.

“Have you no shame,” admonished President Biden during a recent speech in Philadelphia. Apparently not.

Thomas K. Spence Jr., Sanford

Come together

Since the beginning of year 2000, the Republican and Democratic parties have attempted to force voter “solutions” favoring themselves, from presidential to local elections.

Nowhere do both parties show more contempt for the voting public and American citizens than in one-sided voting law attempts.

If ever there was a necessity for the Democrats and Republicans to work together in crafting a solution acceptable to all parties and the public, now is the time and voting is the issue.

There must be public debate in producing a negotiated agreement acceptable to 80% of Congress and the public. Granted, no one will be entirely happy with the result, but neither were the signers of the Constitution all completely happy.

If we can’t agree on how to vote, there is little expectation of other cooperation and of the country surviving. If the two parties cannot come to agreement, then we need a new party that represents our country, not themselves.

Thomas Shute, Raleigh

Minimum wage

The federal minimum wage of $7.25 was set in 2009, where it remains. Each year, there was a conscious decision not to give the working poor a single penny’s increase.

Because of inflation, the buying power of $7.25 has diminished by 21% during those 12 years. So, the poor have gotten steadily poorer. This situation is not only unfair, it’s immoral.

A minimum wage worker working 40 hours a week for 52 weeks (without a workday off) earns a gross of $15,080. Even at $15 an hour, the annual gross would be $31,200. After Social Security and Medicare deductions, that’s about $2,400 per month to cover rent, utilities, food, medicine, clothes, childcare, transportation and all other basic expenses. That’s just barely possible.

Let us start treating our minimum wage workers, many of them our “essential workers” during the pandemic, with the respect and compensation they deserve.

Patricia V. Long, Raleigh

Dereliction of duty

Many of us who are vaccinated against COVID-19 are becoming increasingly angry at the dereliction of duty by so many of our fellow citizens to support the effort against the virus.

They offer various, mostly specious, arguments against accepting the free and simple act of being made nearly safe against a deadly natural enemy.

If it were only their own safety, it might be only their own decision. But it is not about them, it is about all of us. They are not exercising a personal right; they are failing us as fellow Americans in a battle against a serious threat to our general well-being.

Lawrence Evans, Durham

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